Thursday, April 7, 2016

GamerGate and the Fear of Change

So I didn't post much yesterday, except for that one on GamerGate hypocrisy. What I did yesterday instead of blogging or working or doing anything worth my time was confront GamerGaters on Twitter. I'd foolishly thought that maybe hypocrisy that stark could, at least, render them silent. Maybe even make them rethink their choices.

But no.

Because harassment isn't harassment, because harassment and threats are criticism, because GamerGate has been threatened in non-related incidents, because various excuses about what gamers are REALLY mad about in terms of the Baldur's Gate expansion with the trans character, because "ethics in gaming journalism," etc.

This is GamerGate's strategy, and it never changes. Deny deny deny, excuse excuse excuse, derail derail derail. It's the worst on Twitter, because to call out GamerGate on this platform means that I'll get mobbed by dozens of GamerGaters all demanding "proof" that the group harassed people while their fellows call me a cunt and talk about me "swallowing the big cumshot of truth" (seriously that happened yesterday). This happens because they have Twitter accounts dedicated to monitoring Twitter for any mention of GamerGate so that they can either retweet whatever I said with a comment or use the period in front of my Twitter handle so that all their little followers can see it on their feeds.

And it's the same every time. I get blamed the second I complain that I'm being mobbed by literally dozens of people all saying the same shit and expecting me to respond because I dared call GamerGate out or even just dared to mention them. They fail to acknowledge that it's not a one-on-one argument situation. It's not me and the original account. The original GamerGate-mention-seeking account steps aside and lets their followers mob me. Then it's me furiously trying to respond to 30 different assholes.

And here's the kicker. Every person I don't respond to considers themselves in their minds to be the "winner" because I couldn't respond, or they openly declare this to be so. And it doesn't matter than I could have easily responded to their boring, unoriginal "arguments" easily if it had just been them tweeting at me. But it's literally dozens of people and I can't possibly hold real discussions with this many people at once.

They know this. They do this all the time. They can't possibly be ignorant of it. It makes my arguments suffer because I can't even stop to think. I'm feverishly typing, replying, going through the dozens of notifications. And part of that is my fault, because I have this need to defend myself and the thought that they'll smugly think they've beat me with complete shit arguments just because I didn't respond drives me up the wall. Again, it's that reenactment of trauma and disempowerment. But I think a lot of people respond the same way, and GamerGaters take advantage of it. Refusal to respond or blocking is then used as further "evidence" that they're right and everyone else is wrong.

This in itself is a calculated campaign, and it is harassment. Having your mentions flooded with people being assholes to you, whether it's calling you a cunt or being a condescending, smug piece of shit, not treating you like a human, piling on when you most certainly know there are multiple of your fellows doing the same - that's harassment. And it happens every single time I mention GamerGate by name on Twitter.

All of this went through my head last night as I was going to bed, still frustrated at yet another unproductive Twitter war that was me vs. the mob for hours. Then a thought occurred to me that was quite comforting, especially due to the fact that I've been trying to grasp the attitude behind GamerGaters and other bigots for a long time.

It's just the fear of change. That classic, human, desperate desire to push back the tide. Digging in their heels with all their strength, pushing out that voice of reason that's telling them they can't stop progress. They're like rocks trying to resist the slow erosion by water, but it's impossible. And how disempowering must that feel to them? I completely understand. The distress and discomfort I experience when I feel like I can't stop something I don't want to happen is, and there really is no better word for this, maddening. It scratches at my brain with sharp nails, it digs into my mind, like an extremely high pitched whine that I can't escape from.

That's what they're feeling, seeing a medium they could use to hide from the inevitability of change in itself begin to change drastically. It's not longer a haven for disempowered white cishet dudes. That change has yet again reached them, and it drives them to completely maladaptive behaviors in a desperate attempt to protect themselves.

Brace yourselves, I'm about to quote a song.

As said by the Reverend Maynard (yes I'm one of those):

"Fear not the movement
Of the heavens above
Or the earth below
For change is what we are, my child 
Righteous are those who look up
And sway with the wind!
Who look down and dance
With the shifting of the soil
Who swim with the movement of the tides
Who seek the truth around them and discover
We are and have always been in paradise
The reflections of heaven on earth, amen!" 
And she spoke again, saying
"Know, my child, that there is no devil
Seeking to corrupt the hearts of men
No evil, save blind faith, ignorance
And the desire for the unprepared
To blame others for the devastation
Left in the wake of change 
Change, my child, changes in the heavens
Changes on this earth, changes all around us! 
And we are reflections of the divine
We must roll with these changes
For we are these changes 
Eyes wide open, we must look upon the heavens
As a mirrorWide awake, aware, deeply breathing 
And when the shit comes down
My child, you will be there!
A true and holy survivor!
To inherit the kingdom of God!


GamerGate, my friends, is just a flag for the unprepared to gather under and blame others for the holy devastation left in the wake of change.

It's always gonna be sour grapes for you, boys. Until you get right with Jesus!

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